Backpacking and traveling can be one of the best experiences out there. Exploring new lands, meeting new people, and immersing yourself in new culture on a daily basis is second to none. If you have ever had the opportunity, or are planning to capitalize on an opportunity to travel into Australia in the near future, odds are that you will be making your way through the city of Melbourne at one point or another.
As all avid backpackers know, saving money while traveling can often be the key in extending your travels for several more months. Knowing how to save the dollars and pinch the pennies can often mean the difference between staying abroad for several more months or simply having to go back home for financial reasoning.
Odds are that while you are traveling and doing it correctly, you are going to find yourself placed in a hostel at some point or another. This is just the way that the backpacking world works. While there have been several movies portraying hostels as horrific scenes of mass murder and crime, most hostels are actually very clean, elegant, and friendly places to rest your head.
When the time comes that you are able to make your way into the absolutely beautiful city of Melbourne and finally begin looking for a hostel, you can be rest assured that there are suitable options for everyone. Each one however has a certain number of pros and cons to it that should be carefully taken into consideration before the ultimate choice is made as this can mean all the difference in your nightly or even overall travel experience.
If you are just arriving into the city and have traveled form a distant location, odds are that you will be arriving via train or airplane. Whatever the case may be, odds are that you are going to be traveling through Melbourne’s Southern Cross train station (as the airport shuttles people directly there). From the exit of the train station, if you are looking to settle into a hostel right away, it is easiest to exit the facilities directly onto Spencer Street. Here it will be easy to find yourself a cab as they are lined up all along the road here. . . .. If you are looking to save a few dollars and are not packed to heavy, it is simple to walk to these hostel locations as well. It is really only a few blocks and some taxi drivers may even deny taking you to these locations as they are not far enough away to make them a significant profit. Scroll down to read up on the ultimate destination if you so choose to take the short taxi ride there.
If you choose to walk to the hostels and don’t mind the physical route, you are my kind of traveler. In this case, you should exit the train station on the same street. (Spencer Street) Once you are on Spencer Street, you should begin walking in a northern direction. (walking with the train station on your left) Continue to walk in this direction until you reach a cross street called La Trobe Street. This will be the first cross street you encounter if you are following the train station side of Spencer Street. From here you need to take a right on La Trobe and continue walking until you have reached Elizabeth Street. Once you have reached Elizabeth, you are now getting very close to your ultimate destination. Turn left on Elizabeth Street and continue to walk roughly two blocks until you have reached another street called Franklin Street. You are now in the middle of the hostel triangle. There are three hostels in your proximity that are surrounding the very place in which you currently stand. Each has their own pros and cons. These three hostels are called M.I.B (Melbourne International Backpackers), Elizabeth street hostel, and Discovery hostel
Each one of these hostels has a very different atmosphere to it. I have personally stayed in each of these hostels for more than a months’ time and know what each has to offer.
Click here for a hostel review on these three choices.
Want to take the tram?
If you are in Melbourne, you will quickly realize that taking the tram is an easy, affordable (sometimes free), convenient, and sometimes fun form of traveling. If you are looking to immerse yourself in the Melbourne culture, I recommend taking the trams at least a few times during your stay as this seems to be one of the icons that helps define this wonderful city.
If you choose to take this method, you may choose to pay nothing for your ride as Melbourne offers a free “City Circle” tram that runs in very close proximity to the Southern Cross train station. Simply walk out of the train station and walk in a northern direction. This will leave the train station on your left side as you are walking down Spencer Street. Just as if you were walking the entire distance to your location, you should walk all the way until you come upon La Trobe Street. Here, in the middle of La Trobe, you will see a sign that says, “City Circle” along with several other numbered tram stops. If you wait here, it will only be a matter of minutes before you are picked up by the free tram that will take you closer to your destination.
While riding the tram you should keep an ear out for Elizabeth Street as this is going to be your exiting street. Once you depart from the tram, take a left on Elizabeth Street and continue to walk two blocks. This will now land you directly on the intersection of Elizabeth and Franklin Street where if you look kitty corner to your current location you will see a giant golf ball. This makes for an easily recognizable landmark. From here you cannot possibly get lost.
Once on Elizabeth and Franklin
Once you are on this intersection you have found your hostels. If you turn right onto Franklin you will run into M.I.B. If you turn left you will run into Discovery Hostel, and if you continue to head straight you will run into Elizabeth Street hostel. (This one will be a bit more difficult to spot but is almost directly across the street from McDonalds).
This is as far as I can take you when it comes to these hostels, the rest is up to you.
Click here if you are looking for some great things to do while traveling through Melbourne on a budget.
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